The Pilgrim's Progress "Set Your Faces Like A Flint"

John Bunyan

"Set Your Faces Like A Flint"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: In this great religious allegory Bunyan pictures the struggles of the pious soul to achieve redemption as a journey taken by the protagonist, Christian, along a way beset with many deluding snares and temptations. Not all of Christian's encounters, however, are with those who would lead him away from the true road; he also meets those who assist him with good advice. After he has successfully passed through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, Christian is joined by Faithful. As they proceed together, they meet Evangelist, to whom they recount their difficulties in arriving thus far. Evangelist congratulates them upon their victories over temptation up to this moment, but also advises them that there are many more to come:

. . . The crown is before you, and it is an incorruptible one; so run that you may obtain it. Some there be that set out for this crown, and after they have gone far for it, another comes in and takes it from them: hold fast therefore that you have; let no man take your crown. You are not yet out of the gun-shot of the devil; you have not resisted unto blood, striving against sin; let the kingdom be always before you, and believe steadfastly concerning things that are invisible. Let nothing that is on this side the other world get within you; and above all, look well to your own hearts and to the lusts thereof, for they are deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; set your faces like a flint; you have all the power in heaven and earth on your side.